By Sue Geller
Israel Independence Day Celebration with Congregation Or Ami
On May 1, religious schools at Congregations Or Ami and Or Atid joined together for their first annual Yom Haatzmaut celebration.
Students in grades pre-K through 2 boarded their first “flight” and journeyed to Israel where they got to engage in activities that celebrated the land and culture we all know and love.
Students enjoyed playing in the sand in Tel Aviv, building the Western Wall in Jerusalem, participating in Israeli dancing, and bargaining in the Shuk. With help from the Gan Chesed Committee, students planted blue and white flowers in the garden to honor and commemorate Israel.
The event was wrapped up with singing Happy Birthday to Israel and enjoying blue and white cupcakes with Morah Jennifer (Or Atid) and Morah Rachel (Or Ami), the event coordinators.
Both congregations and their religious schools look forward to planning more events in the future that bring their students and families together!
Book Club discussion of the ‘Woman with the Blue Star’
On May 18, Or Atid’s Book Club had an in-depth discussion of the novel The Woman with the Blue Star by Pam Jenoff. The book is inspired by the harrowing true stories of Jews who hid from the Nazi’s in World War II by living in the perilous sewers beneath the city.
The compelling story line focuses on an unusual relationship that develops between Sadie, an 18-year-old hiding in the sewer, and Ella, an affluent Polish girl living in the city who assists her. Book club members were touched by this emotional testament to the power of friendship and the extraordinary strength of the human will to survive.
Our Annual Meeting was held in person and via Zoom on Sunday, May 22.
Beginning with a lovely bagel breakfast, the congregation heard from outgoing President Lynn Landesman, who expressed her gratitude for the members of Or Atid who continued to support the congregation over the last couple of years.
She also presented outgoing Youth Education Chair Missy Bunce with an expression of thanks for her past 8 years of service. After passing the budget for the next year, we then discharged, elected, and installed officers and new members of the Board of Governors.
Our Executive Committee for the following year is Leslie Archer, President; Rick Wiener, VP; Michael Marcus, VP; Jeremy Schlussel, VP; Fran Todras, Treasurer; Amy Unger, Corresponding Secretary; and Art Todras, Recording Secretary.
We welcomed new members to the Board of Governors: Alistair Bentley, Ron Fink, Mark Pinsky, Geri Samuels, and Marilyn Wiener. We thank them all for their time and service.
Being able to award congregants for their dedication to Or Atid was the highlight of the morning.
Erin and Zach Samuels were presented with the Love of Torah Award for always being willing to help lead services and provide musical accompaniment.
Our Strength of Torah Award was presented to Russ Finer, for his willingness to help in any way to make Or Atid successful, and the Deeds of Loving Kindness was presented to the Gan Chesed Committee, for spending so many hours working to ensure this wonderful concept is coming to fruition.
Philip Perschetz spoke about Gan Chesed and encouraged congregants to visit the garden after the meeting to see the progress we have made in creating a welcoming, safe outdoor space for children and adults of all ages and abilities to learn, play and experience Judaism through the senses.
We look forward to welcoming members of the community to visit and explore this wonderful space.
First Shabbarbeque of the Season
Our first Shabbarbeque of the season was held on May 27. A delicious Italian-themed dinner and ice cream sundae oneg were prepared by a team of volunteer congregants.
Best wishes were shared with Rabbi Hal and his family as they prepare to return to Indiana in a few weeks. Zack Samuels, a former student in our religious school, provided musical accompaniment to the services which followed the dinner.
Everyone enjoyed spending time together and being able to give Rabbi Hal farewell wishes.